Here we are, mid-February and last week as I sat in my yoga class, the yoga instructor said, ‘hey, where is everybody?’ My response, “It’s February.”
We all set out with the best of intentions for our new year, and we really want those intentions to happen, so what is it that occurs about a month into the process, or sooner? Why is it so hard to keep our goals and intentions? How can we get back on track? Here are my thoughts:
Change requires more than just a new habit.
Change requires new patterning, new thoughts and frankly, a little work on your hardwired notions and beliefs. Your goal could be to just simply, ‘drink more water’, and that sounds simple, right? But, I can guarantee you will run into roadblocks about that goal. At some point you will be aching for something with more flavor, more pizazz, an emotion will come up that is tied to a certain drink, or you will just suddenly say, “I don’t need that much water”.
This push back, is good. It is hard, but it is good. It means you are getting somewhere. You are starting to change the hardwiring in you, and that part of you that prefers to NEVER CHANGE (and we all have that part), is pushing back. This is why you must push through. There are other parts of you that LOVE change, and in fact, THRIVE on change, but you won’t find out until you push through this tough part. Focus on the love and commitment you have for you and keep going.
Change is emotional.
There are reasons we have habits and patterns that we do. They may not be the most functional habits and patterns, but at some point that pattern ‘helped’ us through an emotional event. It may not have been pretty, but we got through it, right?!
That dysfunctional habit or pattern holds those emotions under tight lock and key and changing that habit or pattern, means working through those blasted emotions you wanted buried. You start off strong in your intentions, but then somewhere along the way you get blown over by some reminders of your past. Here, you have a choice. You either face those reminders and work through them, or you return to your old habit. Sometimes, this happens without you even realizing it. About 3 weeks later you suddenly say, “hey, I haven’t been drinking my water anymore, how did that happen?”
What can you do to keep yourself on track? Give yourself some space to process the emotions that are coming forward. Take time to meditate or journal (I particularly like to journal and burn, but that’s me) or just give yourself space to do an activity that helps bring clarity like walking, painting, skiing or whatever it is that works for you. The important thing is to take the time to move through it.
Change is a journey, not a destination.
In a society that emphasizes instantaneous results, we want those insanely fast results within ourselves as well. When we don’t see a shift as quickly as we like, particularly when we have been working really hard, it can be hard to keep going. I get it. We all want a little affirmation that helps us stay motivated.
Taking the time to journal or draw about where you are right now and what you hope to aspire helps you have a document to look back on and remind you of where you are and how far you’ve come. Because honestly, often once we achieve something, we forget that we had a struggle to overcome in the first place and then we lose our motivation for the next struggle.
The reality is, we are never ‘finished’. We are human, beautiful and imperfect and we will always have something new to strive for. In order to keep ourselves true to ourselves we need to continue to stay mindful of our intentions. Without our intentions, we just get lost in this big fast-paced world and suddenly we wake up one day and realize, we missed it.
Tomorrow is a new day. What were your intentions for 2015? Bring them back into focus.
You are worth it.